The Arizona Cardinals have a surplus of talent at the wide receiver position. DeAndre Hopkins is arguably the league's top pass-catcher. Christian Kirk continues to play a valuable role in their rotation. The offseason additions of A.J. Green and rookie Rondale Moore have helped head coach Kliff Kingsbury craft the offense he's always envisioned employing. The recent acquisition of tight end Zach Ertz has this Cardinals team rolling out four-to-five terrifying pass-catchers on what feels like a snap-by-snap basis. In the run game, Arizona has pieced together a formidable one-two punch in the form of Chase Edmonds and goal-line back James Conner.
With all of these weapons at their disposal, it's inevitable that somebody was going to get lost in the shuffle. That player has been Andy Isabella, a blazing-fast prospect that made his way to the league via The University of Massachusetts. A 5-foot-9 talent that dropped jaws at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine with a 40-yard dash time of 4.31, Isabella has been active for just one game in 2021.
Sports Illustrated's Albert Breer is reporting Isabella is among potential trade candidates ahead of next week's NFL trade deadline. Isabella certainly has the skill-set necessary to help a receiver-needy team down the stretch. With that in mind, these three teams should look to acquire Isabella in the coming days.
Breer singled out the Lions as a team that may be searching for receiver help at the deadline, and it certainly makes a ton of sense on the surface. Owners of the league's most disappointing pass-catching corps, Detroit lacked great depth at the position to begin with, and the injury to Quintez Cephus has only made matters worse in that regard.
Currently powered forward by the unlikely duo of NFL journeymen Kalif Raymond and rookie fourth-round pick Amon-Ra St. Brown, the Lions' offense lacks playmakers that can gain separation on a consistent basis. Isabella is more than a rental, as the former UMASS standout is currently scheduled to remain under contract in 2022 with a manageable cap hit under $1.5 million. General manager Brad Holmes should be on the lookout for receivers that could help his team both immediately and in the future, and Isabella fits the bill.
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
The Saints are off to an impressive start in 2021 despite lacking great talent at the receiver position. Moving the ball to the tune of just 176.2 passing yards per game, the Saints are going to need more from their passing offense down the stretch if they hope to secure a playoff spot in the ever-competitive NFC.
The impending return of three-time Pro Bowler Michael Thomas will certainly move things in the right direction, but general manager Mickey Loomis and head coach Sean Payton need to surround new starting quarterback Jameis Winston with more weapons at the pass-catching positions if they hope to keep pace with the likes of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Acquiring Isabella would be wise.
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
This suggestion actually has more to do with special teams than it does Isabella's ability in the passing game, although that certainly doesn't hurt. The Chargers currently own the league's worst kick-off unit in the league, averaging a measly 16.5 yards per return. Things aren't much better on punts, where their 6.8 yards per punt return ranks them in the bottom 10 of that metric.
Isabella has experience returning both kicks and punts at the NFL level and was an electrifying talent in both areas at The University of Massachusetts. Isabella totaled more than 500 yards on special teams while averaging a healthy 19.3 yards per kick return and 8.6 yards per punt return. Isabella's elusive ability with the ball in his hands would almost certainly provide the Chargers with a much-needed upgrade on special teams.
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